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The prophecy has been fulfilled this day

Guy de Lachaux

translation Louise Thunin

Luke 4 : 14-22

 

« The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. »

 

 

 

            Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing

This short sentence, pronounced by Jesus after his reading of Isaiah (see above) in the synagogue must have produced quite an effect, because, for his contemporaries, it was unambiguous : this passage concerns the coming of the Messiah. There must have been silence followed by an explosion of joy : « And all spoke well of him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. » We must remember how important it had become to expect the Messiah. At the beginning of Biblical history, the Messiah was the anointed one, mainly the king. But as time went by, the notion of messiah grew and was applied to all those who were filled with the Holy Spirit and directed to guide the people ; therefore it included the prophets as well… And finally it came to designate THE Messiah, the long-awaited one who would be recognized by the fulfullment of Isaiah’s prohecy.

Yes, but the one thing the people did not realize was the true meaning of the words. Jesus would provide signs throughout his public ministry : announcing the word of God to the poor and freeing prisoners, giving back their sight to the blind and freedom to the oppressed… But that was not at all what people were expecting, for, by carrying out this program, Jesus would anger his contemporaries : he would invite Zacchaeus rather than the faithful, he would support Mary Magdalene, he would heal on the sabbath, he would call the Pharisees hypocrites and would frequent publicans and sinners. Because taking sides with the poor, with prisoners, the blind, the oppressed has fearful consequences on public order and on how one defines the best way to respect the law of Moses.

Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing

            When we listen to that sentence, do we realize that it is for us, today ?

No doubt we have the same difficulty welcoming it, and this for several reasons :

First of all because when we look at the world in which we live, we have the impression that God’s salvation is not really on its way… and therefore that this sentence is a lie !

And then, if salvation is fulfilled today, it’s due to us, thanks to the actions of those who have received the fullness of Spirit, that is to say, ourselves ! In order to see that the Good News is announced today to the poor, we, first of all, have to announce it… For prisoners to be freed, we have to work hard at ridding them of the chains that keep them captive.

And so on and so forth…

This invites two ways of thinking :

First, to believe that the Spirit of God works in our world from the inside, like leavening… and we need to learn to read events as « signs of the times » and not as fate… That is what the Levites did in Nehemiah 8 : 8 ; they read a passage of the law, gave the meaning, and everyone could understand… For us too, it is in the light of scripture that we can discern the action of Spirit in our history. Moreover, that is how Jesus enlightened his disciples on the road to Emmaüs.

Second, to work in the direction of Spirit to hasten the day of salvation. We have the main lines in Isaiah’s sentence read by Jesus in the Nazareth synagogue. An entire program is proposed to us, who are the body of Christ and each for our own part a member of this body ! (I Corinthians 12 : 27).

In fact, we are being led on a demanding path. Jesus never promised it would be easy. He even told us that following him meant taking up our cross. But, at the same time, when he says that today, this scripture has been fulfilled, we ought to be experience deep joy, the joy of the disciple who feels close to the One in whom he has placed his confidence…

 

 

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À propos Gilles

a été pasteur à Amsterdam et en Région parisienne. Il s’est toujours intéressé à la présence de l’Évangile aux marges de l’Église. Il anime depuis 17 ans le site Internet Protestants dans la ville.

Un commentaire

  1. mmms34ever@gmail.com'

    Jesus came to restore spiritual life not physical. ‘By his stripes we are healed.’ (It was through the eternal spirit that we were reconciled to god). What did we have to do with being ‘born in sin?’ Absolutely nothing. It was a gift from Adam. He died spiritually the day he ate the forbidden fruit, his conscience condemned him and he hid from his father. His father had to seek that which was lost. Adam was cast out of the garden, a type of being alienated from one’s father, and he became a prodigal son. He gifted all mankind with that spiritual death. (Scientists now say that we all have an ‘Adam’ gene). God used mediators, 3rd parties, to intercede between the two parties until Christ came and reconciled mankind to their father again. No 3rd party mediators needed: anyone,anytime, anywhere can commune ‘face to face’ with their spiritual father by calling upon his name, his new name, Jesus. Is 62:2; Rev 3:12. Jesus gifted mankind with life 2000 years ago. Adam did not ‘listen and obey’ and neither did the Israelites. It was necessary for god himself to redeem mankind from the Adamic curse by doing the work himself. Now we can listen and obey or follow the flesh (Adam followed his flesh, the « – » that had been removed from him.)

    The bible was not written TO US but for us, to refute the false teachings of religious leaders whom Jesus forbid 2000 yrs ago. Matt 23:8-10. ‘Do not call anyone by a title of spiritual authority over you such as ‘Father, Rabbi, Teacher, Reverend, Bishop, etc for you are all brothers (ONE family with all having free access to the father) and all have the same TEACHER. Those reconciled to their father have the same TEACHER the disciples had. 2 Cor 3:17. The Lord is the SPIRIT.

    Jesus is our only Sovereign and TEACHER. Sit at his feet, not at man’s.

    Anything that elevates, separates or discriminates was of the old covenant order/age which was ‘passing away’ in the first century. Heb 8:13. The telos/end of all things was the old ceremonial order of worship in the seen, temporal, external age of Judaism. 1 Pet 4:7.

    Do you have relationship with your father or do you have religion?

    If you have not been RECONCILED (2 Cor 15:20-24) then call upon the name of the LORD and ask him to open your mind by giving you wisdom and understanding.

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